Comment 117376

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted March 31, 2016 at 16:25:37 in reply to Comment 117374

Why should a pedestrian have to walk three sides of the intersection just to cross the street? This happened to me when I was walking down James S trying to get to the hospital!

Distracted pedestrians are annoying (but far less dangerous than distracted drivers), but complaining about it is not going to save any lives, and jaywalking is not a significant contributor to pedestrian deaths and injuries.

It's just a red herring distracting us from the real problem (people getting killed and injured). It's like when we try to get bike lanes and someone says "I saw a cyclist not stop at a stop sign". We didn't wait until all motorists obeyed the speed limit before we added seat belts, abs and air bags to cars!

Anecdotes about "bad" pedestrians (or "bad" drivers) don't help anything, especially when they amount to victim blaming. What does the pedestrian who is killed on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk have to do with the different pedestrian who annoyed you by looking at their cell phone?

No city has ever made a difference to traffic injuries and fatalities just by asking everyone to be more careful! It doesn't work.

On the other hand, we do know what works: reduce vehicle speed to 30km/h which reduces the chance of an accident (since the driver has more reaction time) and reduces the severity of the accident and the chances of death to almost nil (since energy goes like speed squared).

Designing streets so drivers need to pay attention (narrow lanes, chicanes, overhanging trees) also works.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-03-31 16:31:49

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